Tuesday, 22 September 2020

NLC has abandoned us, Over 2500 protesting Civil servants cry out in Cross River

No less than 2500 Civil Servants whose names were delisted from the state Civil Service pay roll have decried abandonment by the Nigerian Labour Congress. The pained Civil servants who took to the streets yesterday said they are determined to fight for their right despite the neglect by a body that was meant to protect their well-being and well fare as civil servants. 

"Labour has abandoned us both the TUC and NLC because it does not affect them directly 2,500 workers are directly affected by this injustice because we don't know what our crime was before we were delisted from the payroll by the Ayade led administration.

"We can't no longer keep quiet, we are dying by the day out of frustration and depression, because many of us have been receiving salaries for about 3 tears before our names were illegally removed and things turned from bad to worse for us and our families," one of the embittered delisted civil servant informed. 

Speaking with this media house, during the protest at the New State Secretariat in Calabar, Francis Inah said there situation was quite unfortunate and disheartening as many of them have not received salaries since 2018 while some have not been paid since August 2019 since their names were illegally removed from the payroll by government.

Francis averred that they were duly employed and issued letters of confirmation of employment with the necessary procedures followed and they even started receiving salaries before Ayade's government came in to duelist them. 

"We were duly employed in 2015 and due process was followed as many of us write the different examinations and were given employment letters by the Cross River State government but surprisingly for no reason many names were dropped from the payroll in 2018 and another large number in August 2019. He said. 

According to some of them, the government is sensing fraud during their employment process and decided to delist them without due process. 

"The government said that many of us entered through the back door, we have been gone for various audits yet our names have not been reinstated to date, what crime have we committed.

"We are appealing to the Ayade led administration to take a cursory look into our plight because many of us are now homeless and our children are already out of school coupled with the impact of COVID-19, life is getting worse by the day," he lamented.

Speaking further he said Labour in the state has also abandoned them to take up their fight alone vowing that they will not stop protesting until they(their names) were reinstated into the payroll and their salaries of over 1 year paid." He concluded. 

However, when contacted, The State Chairman of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Com Monday Ogbodum told this media house that they met with the head of Service on the matter and there will be a screening exercise this week to resolve the abnormally.

"We have been discussing with the government through the office of the Head of Service to resolve the matter all in a bid to reinstate those workers who were genuinely employed in 2015." 

On his part, the Special Adviser, Media and publicity to Gov Ben Ayade, Mr Christian Ita informed that the protest was unnecessary as Labour and government already concluded plans to carry out a screening exercise to ascertain the Civil Servants who were erroneously removed from the payroll.

"The protest and barricading of the State Secretariat was not necessary because Cross River State Government and Labour including the Joint Negotiating Council, TUC, NLC signed an agreement in March this year to resolve the anormally but COVID-19 lockdown stalled the screening exercise on the day it was supposed to kick-start.

"Unfortunately, President Buhari announced total lockdown the day the screening exercise was to begin and the process was halted, as we speak we are in touch with Labour to begin the process of reinstating them back in the payroll, so there is no cause for alarm at all, all those genuine civil servants will surely be reinstated," he said.

On the 21st of September 2020, the city of Calabar experienced what had been long anticipated by many who are sympathetic with the sufferings of citizens of Cross River State whose names were unjustly removed from the Cross River State payroll